The Tibetan Mastiff is a large Chinese dog breed that originates in the nomadic cultures of China, Tibet, and Nepal.
Their main purpose was to protect livestock from predators, such as tigers and leopards. However, the breed has taken off in recent years, and has become very popular around the world.
Although the breed is known as a mastiff, it isn’t one, and this was just the name given by Western explorers when they first encountered the breed.
Typically, the breed stands up to 33” tall, and is favored by owners because of its size.
They make excellent guard dogs, as it’s in their nature, and just their sheer size makes them a formidable pet to keep.
The breed is known for its long, shaggy coat, which helped it survive the cold winters in mountainous regions.
They weigh between 121 and 198 lbs, but some of the biggest ever recorded weighed more than 250 lbs!
They obviously have to eat plenty of food due to their size, and this is something that regularly puts people off keeping them as pets.
When it comes to their nature, Tibetan Mastiffs are usually protective of their territory, and are very wary of strangers.
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Tibetan Mastiff 101 Video
Ones bred by Western breeders are typically more laid back, simply because they’ve had their protective tendencies bred out in order to make them more desirable as domestic pets.
However, they usually retain some of their protective nature, and this makes them excellent guard dogs.
Due to their size, they obviously need to live in a house with plenty of space.
They’re usually happy kept in a large yard, but obviously aren’t suitable for small spaces, such as apartments.
They require regular walking, but aren’t particularly active. However, a short walk for such a massive dog is still going to be much longer than a typical walk for a small dog.
Tibetan Mastiff Infographic
Why does a Tibetan Mastiff cost so much?
The main reason why Tibetan Mastiffs cost so much is because they’re very rare.
Although they’re known around the world, this is often because they’ve been reported about in news stories, rather than them being known as a neighbor’s dog.
This means that if you’re looking to get one for yourself then you might have to do a bit of searching.
Another reason why they’re so expensive is simply the maintenance costs associated with such a large breed.
They obviously need plenty of food, and many owners and breeders have to go out of their way to accommodate their massive size.
This is then reflected in the cost of a puppy, as the breeder has to make their money somehow.
Also, in some countries, particularly China, Tibetan Mastiffs are seen as a status symbol.
Much like other breeds with such a description, such as pugs, this is then reflected in the price of the puppies.
After all, if the breed is favored by the rich, then a breeder can get away with charging much more money for it.
Are Tibetan Mastiffs good family dogs?
For the most part, if you’ve got enough space and patience to deal with the breed, then they make good family pets.
They might be massive, but they can be good with children, and can obviously withstand slightly rougher treatment than smaller breeds.
However, due to their territorial nature, they should be socialized with animals and children from a very early age, otherwise they can become aggressive when agitated.
That said, they are very clever, and so take to training very well.
On that note, if you do decide to keep one indoors, they are housebroken very quickly, and are actually quite clean dogs.
If they are allowed indoors, they’ll usually just find somewhere to sleep between meals, and will happily tolerate noise associated with a busy family household.
Is a Tibetan Mastiff dangerous?
While they were originally bred to protect livestock, their protective traits have mostly been removed by Western breeders.
However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not still protective of their families or territory; it just means that they’re significantly less aggressive when doing so.
They’re not known to be big barkers, although this will change if they perceive a threat to the household.
That said, a large breed such as the Tibetan Mastiff should always be approached with caution.
Dogs are incredibly strong animals regardless of their size, and a Tibetan Mastiff will regularly outweigh a human.
It won’t take long for a dog to realize its size and power, and if confronted, it can use these to its advantage.
This shouldn’t be taken as a caution, or as proof that Tibetan Mastiffs are a dangerous breed.
If they’re raised properly, they will have very few aggressive traits, but should always be treated with respect and some degree of caution.
More than anything, they’re just huge dogs, and could easily overpower a person, even if they consider themselves to be strong.
How much does a Tibetan Mastiff cost?
As mentioned, the Tibetan Mastiff is an incredibly expensive breed, which is mostly due to its rarity.
Prices will vary massively between breeders and your area, so make sure you do plenty of research before committing to a breeder simply because they’re local to your area.
A “good” price for a Tibetan Mastiff in the USA can be around $3,000, but you can pay much more for a purebred or “designer” dog.
Several years ago, a Chinese breeder actually sold a Tibetan Mastiff for $1.95 million!
This is probably the most paid for a dog in recorded history, and just goes to show the rarity of the breed and its popularity among the rich.
However, it’s unlikely you’d find them for this much in the West, or that you’d be willing to pay that kind of money for a dog.